X factor winners

X factor winners DEFAULT
X Factor UK Winners.jpg

This is the ranking of the 15 winners from The X Factor UK, mainly based on their success after the show.


15.Ben Haenow

To be honest, Ben's win was a bit of surprise, especially considering during his time in the live shows, he barely went a week from getting even a little bit of criticism, particularly from Mel B for lack of versatilely in his voice and didn't particularly stand out till he got to the live shows. It was Fleur East, who most fans believed had the most potential to be an international star. Nevertheless, Ben was still a very talented man and deserved his victory at the end of the day. Unfortunately, the poor sales of Ben's 2nd single led him to being dropped by Simon's label - just a year over his win. Ever since, he has tried to make it independent but has failed to find himself hitting the charts again. With being one of the most forgettable acts to win the title, Ben Haenow is the worst winner of The X Factor UK.

14.Dalton Harris

Like most winners, Dalton had a very successful X Factor journey - never delivered a weak performance and received constant praise from the judges. He is also known to be the first ever foreign winner, which such other foreign acts (etc Andrea Faustini and Saara Aalto) failed to accomplish. Unfortunately, the male winners curse hit Dalton as well - aside from his guest performance on The X Factor: The Band, he came quite irrelevant and not much was heard from him aside rumours, which claims that he was dropped by Simon in 2020, which to be honest, was expected. Sadly, the most famous acts from this series are Anthony Russell and Danny Tetley but not for their music success - but for their criminal convictions!

13.Matt Terry

Ever since his first audition, Matt became one of the favourites to go all the way in the thirteenth series. He did have problems at the Six Chair Challenge but more than made up for it with his Judges' Houses performance. When the live shows began, Matt impressed in the first 4 weeks and was a firm favourite to win but from live show 5 onwards, his live show performances weren't very consistent and his role as the favourite started to be taken from Saara Aalto, especially when he was in the bottom 2 in the semi final with Emily Middlemas but was saved by the judges, when only Emily's mentor Simon Cowell voted to send him home. In the final, Matt competed against Saara and 5 After Midnight and went on to win the whole thing, giving Nicole her 2nd win. Unlike other winners, Matt didn't immediately sign to Simon's label, since he saw Matt as a younger Olly Murs so he signed to Olly's label instead - RCA Records. Unfortunately, Matt's debut album missed out the Top 10 and became one of the worst placing solo debut albums out of any winner. Therefore, he was quickly dropped by his label in 2018. After losing his record deal, he started staring in a production of Madagascar - The Musical and has not done anything to see find himself in the charts and can't be rated any higher.

12.Steve Brookstein

Steve was the first ever winner of The X Factor UK and was Simon's first ever win. He however didn't necessarily have the most successful X Factor journey - had to audition twice to get through to bootcamp since both Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne believed he didn't have what it took to succeed in his first audition. After being sent to the live shows, with Simon as his mentor, Steve went on to win the show, even though both Louis and Sharon made it clear that they weren't fans of him - particularly Sharon who even went as far to call him out for being a 'fake'. Post the show, Steve's relationship with Simon crashed and burned - leading him to being dropped by the label, despite his debut album, "Heart and Soul" being a success - reaching No. 1 on the charts. Simon even admitted that G4 (who came 2nd, mentored by Louis) were the true winners of the first series, since they were able to have more success than Steve with their careers post the show. Steve since has used his social media to attack the show, even going as far to make a dig at Simon's mother, who passed away in 2015. With his dirty attitude, Steve Brookstein is one of the most hated acts to ever enter the X Factor UK.

11.Leon Jackson

Leon's win was a very strange case. Unlike other winners, he was never a favourite to win his series - runner-up Rhydian Roberts (who was also in the Boys category with Dannii as his mentor too) was seen as the one to go all the way so his win was a huge shock, especially since during his time in the live shows, he got a lot of criticism almost weekly, particularly from Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh. As the live shows progressed, Simon admitted in one week that he was quite surprised that Leon was able to make it far in the competition. He was still able to win the judges over little by little as the weeks went by, although Louis still didn't think he was anywhere as good as Rhydian. When the final arrived and the results were open, many fans found themselves unable to vote for Rhydian and called Leon's win a fix. In fairness to him, he was able to have another Top 10 UK single the following year after his win) while he was still signed with Simon's label, something most recent winners have trouble with - most of them don't even reach a No.1 with their winning single, like Leon did. That still didn't stop Leon from being dropped in 2009, and he has failed to become anymore relevant than he was before. The most recent thing he did was help write a song for The Voice act - Vince Kidd. Due to him fading into obscurity, Leon is often seen as The X Factor's biggest flops ever, even was voted 2nd in the poll of reality TV flops back in 2010, only losing to Series 1 winner Steve Brookstein!

10.Sam Bailey

Sam had probably the best room audition in the history of The X Factor UK - having the only audition where all judges responded with a standing ovation. Although there were other favourites in her season (etc Tamera Foster and Nicholas McDonald), very few fans doubted that Sam would win and was Sharon's first and only win. She even named her mentor as her daughter's godmother. After her win, Sam was able to support Beyonce in her 2014 tour. Unfortunately, Simon Cowell was more interested in Tamera than Sam, much to the anger of Sharon. Just over a year after her win, Simon dropped Sam from his label, which she saw coming.

9.Louisa Johnson

Despite only being 17 during her time on the show, Louisa had one of the biggest voices in her series and continued to impress from her auditions to the live shows, with little to no criticism from the judges. She competed with Reggie 'N' Bollie and Ché Chesterman in the final, when she duetted with her mentor Rita and finally won the show. She replaced Joe McElderry (who was 18 in his series) as the show's youngest winner ever. Although Louisa had a very successful X Factor journey, her journey post the show didn't go as well. Her winner single was the first winner's single not to become No. 1 in the UK charts on Christmas, which wasn't a great start in her career. She however was able to have a successful collaboration with the band, Clean Bandit and both artists even duetted with 5 After Midnight in their duet performance in the final of their series (the series after Louisa's year). Unfortunately, in 2018, Louisa was let go by Simon Cowell, without even creating an album with Syco and not much has been heard from her since in terms of her music, but more about her sexy body transformation - often posting images of herself on social media to express herself.


Although The X Factor UK has produced successful boy bands - JLS, One Direction and to a much less extent, Union J, there has never been a boyband who won the show till Rak-Su in 2017. Not only are Rak-Su known for being the first boyband to win the show, but they were also known for performing amazing original songs in the majority of their X Factor journey. After watching them tour with Little Mix, many would think as them as the new heirs of 1D, only for them to part way with Simon's label less than a year after their win (alongside Little Mix after being signed for 7 years) and were also dropped by their 2nd record label, due to the lack of chart success. If any winner should have been bigger, it should have been these guys!

7.Matt Cardle

Matt did very well in his X Factor journey - able to top the public votes every week except from the first week - that week was won by Mary Byrne. Sadly, his career after the show didn't go so well. He apparently had a troubled relationship with Simon Cowell so separated from his label in 2012. He however has been able to have a successful West End career but still not giving up on his recording career. Despite being the winner, there were 3 acts who were able to have much more success than Matt post the show. Rebecca Ferguson (who placed 2nd) had an averagely successful career while Cher Lloyd (who placed 4th) did very well for herself. Despite placing 3rd, the most known act of this series is One Direction, who went to become the most successful act of The X Factor UK!

6.Joe McElderry

Ever since the auditions, it was Danyl Johnson who was the favourite to win the sixth series of The X Factor. When it came to the live shows, that role went to Olly Murs. Joe himself was one of the most talented vocalists but didn't particularly stand out till the seventh week of the live shows, when he sang "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me", for George Michael week, which earned him a standing ovation from all four judges, which was also the first time all four judges gave a standing ovation in the entire series. From that week to the final, Joe topped the public votes every week and finally won the show, giving Cheryl her second win - two years in a row. Unfortunately, like many male winners, Joe's career after the show originally faltered (many believe due to his generic personality) but he was able to have more success with his 2nd label Decca and currently has 4 Top 10 albums - more than most winners! Similar to Matt Cardle, despite Joe winning his respective season, there were 3 acts from this season who are more recognised than him - Olly (2nd), Stacey Solomon (3rd) and John & Edward (6th) - who were all the highest-placing act of their respective mentors (Olly for Simon Cowell, Stacey for Dannii Minogue and John & Edward for Louis Walsh). Stacey went to enjoy a career as a successful TV presenter. John & Edward originally became this series' most popular act, especially in their home country Ireland but were eclipsed by Olly, who became this series' most successful act as a singer and a TV presenter.

5.Shayne Ward

Although Louis has served on the judging panel for 13 years, he has only being able to win once and that was with Shayne back in the second series. Shayne was often described as the full package - great voice, great looks and great performer - often branded as the 'UK Justin Timberlake'. He was also quite a ladies' man during his run. He even had a flirting-banter relationship with Sharon Osbourne. Louis later became Shayne's manager after his victory and had high expectations for his career, especially after Steve Brookstein's failure. Unlike most male winners, Shayne actually had a long-term successful music career until 2011, when he was finally dropped by Simon. He recently moved to acting, staring in Coronation Street. He still hadn't given up on singing - last year, he released a cover on the song, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", (a song he performed in the final of his series, which played a huge contribution to his win), to raise money to support the NHS. Although he didn't reach the level of international stardom that his former mentor Louis expected him to, Shayne Ward is still much more remembered that most recent winners, which says a lot!

4.Alexandra Burke

Despite winning the 5th series of The X Factor UK, that was not the first time Alexandra appeared on the show - she made her first appearance in the 2nd series and made it to the Judges Houses in the 16-24s category but was sent home by Louis Walsh, who went on to win the series with Shayne Ward. Although she came back stronger in 2008, she was in a tough position since the Girls category that year was the strongest Girls category in the history of the show - her fellow category members, Laura White and Diana Vickers, who made it to the live shows with Alex were both favourites to win. Laura was the original favourite but was controversially eliminated in the fifth week by Louis, so Diana became the new favourite. Alex however continued to progress so much that she became the new favourite around the quarter final. Her duet with Beyonce on the song, "Listen" is regarded one of, if not, the best duets in the history of the show. She then went on to win the show, beating JLS, who became 2nd. Many believed Alexandra would have had the same level of success like Leona but sadly, it didn't work so well. Her 2nd album after her win performed poorly and she was dropped by Simon. Many people would say JLS were the true winners of this series, due to having more success post the show. She went on to have a successful musical theater career. She was then seen performing in Strictly Come Dancing in 2017, alongside Aston Merrygold from JLS and finished runner-up with her partner. She later signed a deal with Decca Records but was dropped after her third album failed to make the top 10. Despite all this, Alexandra Burke is still a top 5 X Factor UK winner!

3.James Arthur

James is the best and most charming male winner. James' first audition is most viewed first audition on any winner. He went on all the way to the live shows, with his mentor as Nicole Scherzinger, who was mentoring the Boys category in 2012. Throughout the live shows, James was often praised for his unique voice and his ability to change songs into his own complete version - he barely got any criticism from the judges, which is very rare, even amongst future winners. He became one of the favourites to win. In the seventh live show results, he was in the bottom two with Ella Henderson, who was also a favourite. This caused a massive outrage amongst the judges and the public. Even Louis Walsh, who was the veteran judge, called seeing both James and Ella the biggest shock in his years of doing The X Factor. Fortunately, James was saved when the result went to deadlock. From the quarter-final to the end, James won the public votes, until he finally won the show - beating fellow category member, Jahméne Douglas, who was also being mentored by Nicole. He was the first winner to ever have been in the bottom two and his winner single of "Impossible" became one of the fastest-selling singles. Unfortunately, James' career didn't get off to a great start. He used homophobic words when in a rap battle with Mickey Worthless. This caused controversy amongst the LGBT community, including Lucy Spraggan, who participated in the same series of James. This angered Simon so much that he dropped him from his label and unlike other winners, it wasn't because of lack of chart success but attitude issues. Not much was heard from James until 2016 when he made a comeback with a new song, "Say You Won't Let Go", which became No. 1 in the UK - this made James the first male winner to ever have 2 No. 1s. Unlike other winners, James was re-signed with Syco and is still active with his music. He was even asked to duet with series 15 winner Dalton Harris for his winning single, "Power of Love", a song he once sang when he was on the show. Not only is he one of the Top 100 most listened artists on Spotify but James Arthur is the most successful solo male winner of The X Factor UK.

2.Leona Lewis

Despite appearing in the early third series of The X Factor UK, Leona is without question one of the biggest success stories to come out of this show. When she was on the show, her magnificent voice was often compared to huge singers, such as, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Despite her talent, her mentor Simon was still concerned because according to him, girls don't tend to win shows like The X Factor. Luckily, Leona was able to prove her mentor wrong and went on to win the show, beating fellow category member Ray Quinn (who was also being mentored by Simon), although many, including Louis Walsh claimed that Simon had more faith in Leona, despite his claims to the contrary. Not only was she the first ever female winner, but Leona was the first one to actually become an international superstar - Steve's career faltered quite early while Shayne still did quite well but couldn't compare with Leona. Throughout the years, Simon showed fondness of Leona, even admitting when she was on the show, that she was the best act he ever mentored. Leona however separated with Simon's label in 2014, in order to protect her career when Syco was signing more artists but assured that didn't change anything between her and Simon. Like most winners, she began a career in theatre, especially after being dropped by her second label despite continuously being featured in tours of other artists. She has been called to guest judge on the show many times - even was a full judge on The X Factor: The Band, alongside Simon and Nicole Scherzinger. Although she is no longer hitting the charts as she used to in the early years after her win, Leona Lewis is still the most successful solo female artist to come from the show.

1.Little Mix

Before 2011, girlbands never did quite well on the show, especially since the Groups category was often mentored by Louis Walsh, who doesn't do very well when it comes to girlbands. The eighth series changed everything. Jesy Nelson, Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock all auditioned successfully as soloists but were rejected at bootcamp. The judges, particularly Kelly Rowland believed that they were still too good to let go and they were put together as a 4-piece group and sent to 'Judges Houses'. Luckily for girls, the Groups category for once wasn't mentored by either Simon Cowell (who wasn't a judge in the eighth series of the show) or Louis (who was assigned the Over 25s category that year) but was mentored by a female and new judge, Tulisa, who chose them in her final 4 groups. Already in the first live show, new judge Gary Barlow called them the best girlband in the history of the show. They were originally called Rhythmix but changed to Little Mix, as Rhythmix was the name of a music charity. Unlike previous girlbands, Little Mix were able to progress past the seventh live show (the previous longest-surviving girlbands - The Conway Sisters and Hope lasted until the seventh live show in their respective seasons) and then became the new favourite to go all the way, replacing Marcus Collins, who replaced Janet Devlin, Misha B, and Amelia Lily himself. They went on to finally win the show, becoming the first ever group to achieve this goal. Post the show, the girls went to become international stars and one of The X Factor's biggest success stories ever. Although the girls separated with Simon's label in 2018, they still carried on strong with new label - RCA records. In 2020, Little Mix had a show called, Little Mix The Search when they put together soloists into bands (like they were when they were on the show) and the winners would get to support them in their Confetti Concert. A few months later, Jesy decided to quit the band to focus on her mental health and the rest of the girls are currently going as a trio. Despite this, Little Mix are without doubt the best X Factor UK winners!

Sours: https://xfactor.fandom.com/wiki/Ranking_of_The_X_Factor_UK_Winners

What happened to all of the X Factor winners and where they are now

The X Factor has created moments of TV gold in its 15-year history.

While it has propelled talented singers into stardom, the hit ITV competition has made for some memorable auditions, with clips still circulating the internet today.

Viewers have been hooked ever since it first aired in 2004, with families sat at home rooting for their favourites as the contestants battled it out on stage before being hit with criticism from the tough judging panel.

READ MORE: Why has The X Factor been axed from ITV? Simon Cowell's show scrapped after 17 years

The reality show spawned multiple spin-offs, but following a break last year, it was confirmed earlier this week that the Saturday night staple is never to return.

From a chart-topping girl band to a successful soap star, these are the 16 UK stars that won the X Factor and where they are now, Liverpool Echo reports.

Steve Brookstein, 2004

Steve Brookstein was the first ever X Factor winner.

The now 52-year-old was mentored by show founder and judge Simon Cowell, and went on to beat opera group G4 and young singer Tabby Callaghan in the final, much to judge Sharon Osbourne's dismay.

His winner's single was a cover of the Phil Collins classic - Against All Odds - which reached number one in the UK.

But after just one album, he was dropped.

Steve has been vocal in his public feud with Simon Cowell and has criticised the X Factor on multiple occasions since his 2004 win.

In 2014, Steve's autobiography Getting Over the X was released.

Now, he is well known for his vocal and controversial opinions, which he regularly shares on Twitter, where he describes himself as a "potty mouth and bit grumpy".

Shayne Ward, 2005

Shayne was crowned winner of the second series, and his winner's single - That's My Goal - became the first X Factor Christmas number one.

Since then, he's gone on to release four albums.

His self-titled debut went four times platinum upon its release in April 2006, followed by Breathless, which went five times platinum following its 2007 release, and Obsession in 2010, which unfortunately failed to chart.

A year later, Shayne was dropped by Simon's record label Syco. But that didn't stop him as he went on to release his fourth album Closer in 2015 as an independent artist.

He's also proved himself as a successful actor over the years, first being cast as Staycee Jaxx in the 80s musical Rock of Ages on the West End from 2011 to 2012.

He's most known though for his soap role as Aidan Connor in Coronation Street, a character he played from 2015 until 2018.

Currently, Shayne is signed with prestigious agency Waring and McKenna.

He is engaged to actress Sophie Austin and the couple have a daughter, Willow, together.

Leona Lewis, 2006

Leona Lewis became the third winner in 2006.

Her winner's single, a cover of Kelly Clarkson's A Moment Like This, hit platinum status and spent four weeks at number one.

Lewis became the first winner to become internationally recognised, breaking into the tough American market.

Up to 2017, she released five albums, including a Christmas album.

According to The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), her debut album Spirit was the sixth best-selling album of 2008 and has gone on to sell more than seven million copies worldwide, being certified 10 times platinum.

But things took a sour turn when she quit Cowell's record company to sign with Universal Island records in 2014, and claimed the label threatened to say she'd been dropped.

In an open letter to fans, she wrote: "I was threatened with the fact that if I left, it would come out that I had been dropped. That cut deep, but by this time nothing could stop me from walking away."

The singer admitted her journey had left her feeling "extremely depressed".

Over the course of her successful career, she's bagged two MOBO awards and a coveted VMA and is also a six-time Brit award and three-time Grammy Award nominee.

She also dabbled in Broadway, starring in musical Cats in 2016, where she played legendary character Grizabella.

Now, Leona continues to work as a singer, songwriter, actress, model and activist.

Later this year, Lewis will tour with Gary Barlow on his tour 'All The Hits Live 2021' across the UK.

Leon Jackson, 2007

Leon Jackson made a shock victory in the 2007 series after being mentored by a new addition to the judging panel, Dannii Minogue.

His win was described as "the biggest shock in the history of reality TV betting."

The Scottish singer released a cover of the Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston hit - When You Believe - as his winner's song.

The song became the fastest-selling single of the year, and Leon became the first Scottish singer to ever get a Christmas number one.

He released one album with Syco the following year, before being dropped by the label.

Leon continues to work as a songwriter and travels to and from Los Angeles in his work.

He has also taken part in fundraising efforts for Glasgow Children's Hospital.

Alexandra Burke, 2008

Alexandra Burke beat popular boy band JLS to take the top spot - but both 2008 finalists went on to achieve huge success.

Her winner's single, a cover of Leonard Cohen's beautiful song Hallelujah, was the Christmas number one, while other smash hit singles include Bad Boys, All Night Long and Broken Heels.

She has released two albums since her win, Overcome in 2009, and Heartbreak on Hold in 2012, as well as the EP Renegade in 2015 and even toured with Beyonce.

Alexandra has showcased her talent range on the stage, taking on the lead role in the Sister Act musical and playing Rachel Marron - the iconic part made famous by Whitney Houston in hit film The Bodyguard in the West End.

She also took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 and released her third studio album in 2018.

During lockdown, Alexandra released a cover of the Ministry of Sound track - You’re Not Alone - alongside the London Concert Orchestra and NHS Choir in support of NHS staff.

Last month, it was announced that Burke will star in a movie with her character inspired from Tina Turner.

Joe McElderry, 2009

Joe McElderry won the 2009 competition at just 18-years-old.

His fellow finalists, Olly Murs and Stacey Solomon, have gone on to experience massive success as a pop star and TV presenter.

Joe's single, a cover of Miley Cyrus' The Climb, failed to reach the top spot at Christmas following a successful campaign from the public to get Rage Against the Machine's Killing In The Name Of to number one instead.

Joe's debut album, Wide Awake, peaked at number three and dropped out of the top 40 within three weeks.

The album had sold just over 100,000 copies by December 2010 and when his contract with Syco expired in 2011, it wasn't renewed.

It wasn't the end for his reality TV appearances though as he went on to win Popstar to Opera Star in 2011, and also won The Jump in 2014.

He has since toured in productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and continues to work on stage.

Matt Cardle, 2010

Matt Cardle was crowned winner in 2010, but he was quickly overshadowed by the global success of boy band One Direction, who were runners-up.

After winning the show, Matt was nominated for a BRIT award for his winner's single, a cover of the Biffy Clyro track When We Collide.

In October 2012, Cardle said he left Sony through his own choice because he wasn't a priority following One Direction's mammoth success.

He has released four studio albums since his win and took the lead role in musical Memphis in the West End in 2015.

In 2018, Matt admitted he'd battled addiction issues with alcohol, prescription drugs and illegal drugs after his career failed which forced him to check into the Priory.

But by the time he shared his struggles, he had seemingly bounced back and signed a new contract with Sony to release his fourth album, Time to be Alive, in April 2018.

It reached number 28 in the UK charts.

Now, Matt continues to make music and is also part of the rock band Seven Summers.

Little Mix, 2011

Little Mix was the first winning group to come out of the show, mentored by Simon Cowell.

The four-piece girl band - made up of Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirwell, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock - has gone on to phenomenal success, becoming the show's most successful winning act to date.

Little Mix are still releasing singles and continue their reign as a powerful and much-loved girl band, even breaking records held by the Spice Girls in the US.

They have released five albums, which have all peaked inside the top ten.

Some of their biggest hits include Salute, Black Magic, Shout Out To My Ex, Wings, Woman Like Me and their latest single, Break Up Song which was released during lockdown.

This week, their waxworks was unveiled at Madame Tussauds in London, including all four members despite Jesy leaving last year.

James Arthur, 2012

The ninth series saw James Arthur crowned the winner after beating Jahmene Douglas.

He looked set for huge success after his winning single, a cover of Shontelle's Impossible, became the fastest-selling X Factor winner debut to that date.

His follow up single, You’re Nobody ’til Somebody Loves You, also reached number two on the UK charts and his self-titled debut album achieved the same heights in November 2013.

But James was then plagued with controversies, including being accused of using homophobic lyrics in a diss track aimed at underground rapper Micky Worthless and getting into public Twitter spats.

He also dealt with accusations of womanising and battles with substance abuse which saw him dropped from Syco in June 2014.

He has been forthright with his mental health problems and was re-signed to Syco after working to clean up his act.

James released Say You Won't Let Go in September 2016, which rocketed to the top of the UK music charts - as well as making it to number 11 in the American Billboard Hot 100.

His subsequent album, Back From The Edge, was released in October 2016 and also topped the charts, followed by 2019's 'You'.

During lockdown, he has shared a duet with his friend and former mentor, Nicole Scherzinger, for his YouTube acoustic series.

And later this year, he's set to release his fourth album called 'It'll All Make Sense In The End'.

Sam Bailey, 2013

Sam beat rivals "little" Nicholas McDonald and Luke "hairy" Friend to be crowned the winner in 2013.

Her winner's single was a cover of Demi Lovato's Skyscraper and it became the first X Factor Christmas one since 2010.

Since her win, she supported Beyonce during a live show in Birmingham and had the first number one X Factor album since Alexandra Burke's successful album in 2009.

There was some fan uproar surrounding Sam's previous music industry experience while she was on the show, as she was billed as a prison warden, but it came out that she had performed on cruise ships and at music festivals for years before trying out for the talent show.

After The X Factor, Sam released her debut album The Power Of Love in March 2014 which went on to reach the top spot of the albums chart in the UK and sold more than 160,000 copies.

She later released her autobiography but in February 2015, it was announced on Twitter she had parted ways with Syco Music.

In 2016, she was cast as Mama Morton in the musical Chicago and has also starred in panto.

A year later, she was announced as a lead role in Fat Friends: The Musical.

Sam continues to work as a singer and has appeared on the reality show Through the Keyhole.

Ben Haenow, 2014

Ben Haenow claimed the top spot in the 2014 series and released a cover of OneRepublic's Something I Need as his debut single in December of that year.

On his 30th birthday on January 6, it was announced he had been signed by Syco Music and had been spending time in Los Angeles recording his debut album.

He enjoyed some success and went on to duet with Kelly Clarkson on the single Second Hand Heart before releasing his self-titled debut album the following year.

But Ben was dropped by the record company in January 2016 and has been working independently since.

Fleur East, who finished in second place, followed the trend of runner-ups surpassing the winner's success when she achieved much chart success with her dance anthems.

In August 2017, Ben married his long-term partner Jessica Jones in a small ceremony in Italy.

Ben continues to make music and recently released a single titled If You're Lonely with all proceeds being donated to the mental health charity, Mind.

Louisa Johnson, 2015

Pop star Louisa Johnson was just 17 when she won the 2015 competition.

She was the first winner from the girls category since Alexandra Burke in 2008 and remains the youngest winner of the show to date.

After the release of her winner's single, a cover of the Bob Dylan classic Forever Young, she was featured on Clean Bandit's single, Tears.

The star was due to release her album in 2016 but it was pushed back until 2017.

She has gone on to work with X Factor alumni Olly Murs on a song and also as his support act on a UK tour.

In July 2018, the singer announced via social media that she had left Syco.

She performed at Manchester Pride in 2019 and continues to work as a singer and performer.

Last January, Louisa announced a collaboration with fitness clothing brand USA Pro and released 'Like I Love Me' to promote it.

Matt Terry, 2016

Matt Terry took the top spot in 2016 but controversially, didn't bag a contract with Syco.

He beat Saara Aalto to be crowned the champion and went on to be signed to sister label RCA.

But the singer wanted to be known for more than his stint on the show.

He told Digital Spy: "I'm so excited for people to hear my new material. So far people know me as the guy who won X Factor. But when I look back on this time last year, I can't quite believe how far I've come.

"I'm so grateful for where I am now, and I'm happier than I've ever been. I can't wait for the next step in my journey."

In November 2017, he released his first album Trouble which was, unfortunately, the show's lowest-selling debut to date and came in at number 29 on the UK Albums Chart.

He returned to the X Factor in 2017 to perform his single - The Thing About Love - which peaked at number 51 on the Official Charts.

This was followed by a parting with RCA a year later.

In 2019, he played Alex the Lion in Madagascar: The Musical in its UK tour.

Rak-Su, 2017

Rak-Su - made up of Ashley Fongho, Jamaal Shurland, Myles Stephenson and Mustafa Rahimtulla - was the second group to be crowned winners of the show in 2017.

Before the band even took the top spot, their performance releases for each live show charted, with three hitting the number one spot on the iTunes chart.

Their single, Dimelo, was self-penned and was performed with Wyclef Jean and Naughty Boy.

Rak-Su supported Little Mix on the girl band's Summer Hits Tour a year later and went on to support Olly Murs in 2019.

They continue to make and release music, and earlier this year released their third EP titled Lost Tour.

Dalton Harris, 2018

Jamaican-born singer Dalton Harris was crowned the winner of the 15th series of the X Factor in 2018.

The singer had a taste of success after winning the Jamaican singing competition Digicel Rising Stars, which reportedly carried a cash prize of $1.5 million JMD, in 2010.

He grew up in poverty and had a tough childhood, with around 22 siblings and tales of abuse.

On the X Factor, he was coached by former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson.

Since his win, the singer has produced a track with X Factor alum James Arthur - Power of Love - which reached number four.

In 2019, Dalton performed at the Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay, Jamaica, which is one of the biggest music festivals in the Caribbean.

He continues to make and release music.

Megan McKenna, 2019

The X Factor aired a celebrity spin-off in 2019, moving away from the original format.

Reality star Megan McKenna won the series with 46.3 per cent of the vote, with social media stars Max and Harvey finishing in second place, and Chaser Jenny Ryan coming in third place.

In February 2020, McKenna began recording her second studio album with Syco, and it was announced that she would be supporting Lionel Richie on the British leg of his 2021 tour.

To get the latest email updates from the Manchester Evening News, click here.

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The X Factor (British TV series)

British reality television music competition

The X Factor is a British reality television music competition, created by Simon Cowell. Premiering on 4 September 2004, it was produced by Fremantle'sThames and Cowell's production company Syco Entertainment for ITV,[2] as well as simulcast on Virgin Media One in Ireland. The programme ran for around 445 episodes across fifteen series, each one primarily broadcast between late summer to early winter, until its final episode in December 2018. All episodes were presented by Dermot O'Leary, with some exceptions: the first three series were hosted by Kate Thornton; while Caroline Flack and Olly Murs hosted the show for the twelfth series.

Each year of the competition saw contestants of all ages and backgrounds auditioning for a place, in hopes of proving that they had singing talent. Auditionees attempted to do so before a panel of judges, each selected for their background in the music industry  – these have included Cowell, Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne, Cheryl Cole, Gary Barlow, Rita Ora, and Robbie Williams. Those that made it through the auditions entered a bootcamp stage in which the judges each took charge of a category of contestants to mentor, determining who may move on to the live stages of the contest, with a public vote in the live rounds eliminating these contestants one by one. The winner of the live final received a recording contract with record label Syco Music and a cash payment, though the majority was allocated to marketing and recording costs.[3]

At the same time of its premiere, The X Factor was accompanied by spin-off behind-the-scenes show called The Xtra Factor on ITV2, which focused on the recent episode's performances; this was later replaced in 2016 with an online spin-off show, Xtra Bites, on ITV Hub.[4] The programme itself proved popular on British television,[5] attracting high viewing figures at its peak  – over 14 million on average in the seventh series  – leading to the formation of an international franchise. In addition, many of its acts, including JLS, Diana Vickers, One Direction and Ella Henderson, later went on to release singles that entered number-one in the UK charts.

From 2011, viewing figures began to decline, and Cowell later opted to rest the programme in 2019, assigning two spin-offs as mini-series that year  – The X Factor: Celebrity and The X Factor: The Band. On 28 July 2021, ITV announced that the programme had been axed.[6]


Simon Cowell, creator of The X Factorand the second longest-serving judge in the programme's history.

The programme's format was devised by Sony Music executive Simon Cowell in 2004.[7] The concept for The X Factor stemmed from his involvement as a judge on Pop Idol, another music talent competition that ITV aired from 2001–2003. While the programme had been massively successful in its own right, Cowell disliked the lack of control that he and the judges had on the contestant's progress  – several individuals, including fellow judge Pete Waterman, agreed with him that a contestant who won the second series of Pop Idol had been unworthy to earn victory compared to others who had participated.[8]

Cowell eventually made plans to devise a new televised competition, in which he would own the television rights and thus maintain control on decisions held on the new programme. In 2004, ITV secured the rights to broadcast The X Factor after Cowell approached them with his concept,[7] despite a legal challenge by Simon Fuller, the creator of Pop Idol, over perceived similarities between the two shows.[9]



Each year's competition begins with auditions round, which consists of three stages held several months prior to the series premiere, and within venues around the United Kingdom; in some series, auditions were also allowed within the Republic of Ireland. Participants are required to provide a performance across each stage, focused on singing a piece from another artist to gauge their musical talent. The first round consists of auditionees performing before production staff  – either by application and appointment, or at "open" auditions that anyone can attend. Those wishing to apply could do so via postal or online applications,[10] with The X Factor having no upper-age limit, and no restriction on groups participating. If an auditionee passes this stage, they then move on to the second stage in which they perform before a senior production member.[11] Both of these stages are not filmed, but shots of the crowds waiting to audition are later spliced into audition episodes during final editing; the televised version can sometimes misrepresent the process in this fashion by implying that huge crowds all perform before the judges.[11]

Participants that make it to the third stage of auditions then conduct their performance and potential singing talent before the judges for that year's competition. To proceed into the next round of the contest, each participant must secure a majority vote from the judges, otherwise they are eliminated at this point; the judges themselves will usually comment on what they heard first, before they cast their vote. For the majority of series (Series 1-5, 10-11, and 13-14), the third stage auditions were conducted in a closed room in which performance were done without a backing track, while for other series, they were conducted before a live audience (similar to Britain's Got Talent, with performances either done a cappella or over a backing track. Filming takes place during this stage, with the final edits for audition episodes focusing on the best, the worst and the most bizarre.[12]

Bootcamp and judges' houses

In the second round, participants who reach this stage are sent to a "bootcamp" to refine their performances, while they are organised into categories based on the conditions of their application. The first two category consists of men and women solo acts aged under 24  – both categories were conjoined in early series until separated in the fourth series  – with the minimum age allowed being 16 (except for the fourth to sixth series where it was lowered to 14). The third category consists of men and women solo acts aged over 25 (with the exception of a few series were the minimum age was raised to 28).[13][14][15][16] The final category consists of group acts, which include two or more members within each group. During this time, the producers decide on which judge for that year's competition is assigned to mentoring one of the category of participants. After the judges receive their assigned category, they then oversee two stages of performances from participants in each category, in which they must whittle down the number of participants to around six per category (eight for the seventh and eighth series).[13] The process varies across the programme's history  – in most cases, their performances during this stage determines whether they move on to the next round or not; in some series, audition tapes are reviewed before the round with the judges making their choices before this stage of the competition.

Once the judges each have their selected participants for their category to mentor, these participants move on to the "judges' home" stage of the competition, which is held in private residences for each judge; according to Louis Walsh, these homes tend to not belong to the judges, but rented out for this purpose.[17] In this stage, the participants each conduct a performance before their category's judge, who must decide which of their group will proceed into the live rounds.[18][19]

Both the bootcamp and the judges' homes stages of the contest are pre-recorded, though in some cases, either between the first and second stages of Bootcamp or prior to judges' houses, judges may look at certain rejected solo artists who they feel have potential but may be better suited in a group, and in an attempt to give them a lifeline, then send these acts into a room to form a number of different groups, each depending on size, height, fashion and chemistry. Lineup changes may also sometimes occur depending on what the judges feel the group is missing or which members they think work well with others. In the tenth series, the bootcamp stage was changed to a new format called "Six-Chair Challenge" in which participants had to secure a majority vote to sit in one of six empty chairs for their category, to move into the next stage; if all six seats were filled, the judge of that category must replace one of these participants with another they wish to see through. This new format, despite some tweaks, was not well received by viewers after its introduction.[20]

Elimination stages and Final

Louis Walsh, longest-serving judge on The X Factor in all but two series.

Sharon Osbourne, a judge for the first three series, and then again in 2013, and 2016-17

Dermot O'Leary served the longest as the programme's host from 2007, with a one-year break in 2015

Contestants who make it through both the second and third stages eventually enter the live rounds of the competition. By this stage they compete against each other over a series of elimination heats, with those that make it through competition to win in a live final, with these filmed in two parts in a fixed studio venue (except for the final after the eighth series): a performance episode featuring all active participants; and a results episode, which includes a live or pre-recorded performances by celebrity performers. During this time, they move into shared accommodation while involved in the live episodes, sharing this with production staff;[21] filming "behind-the-scenes" within the accommodation is frequently down and used in live episodes for The Xtra Factor. In some series, some additional participants are sometimes selected from the rejects to act as wildcards in these stages, alongside those who progressed to the live episodes.

In these stages, each participant not only performs on live television, but also before the judges and a live studio audience. Their routine is often designed to fully judge their singing talent, appearance, personality and stage presence that may not have been noticeable during auditions, with their routine focusing a performance to a specific song  – originally a pop or contemporary hit from the charts in early series, before being later assigned based on the musical theme for the episode. Performance may sometimes be accompanied by backing dancers and musicians, and, in some cases, participants may also provide their own music and/or dance routines. At the end of each performance, the judges provide feedback on each performance, with their discussions often regularly adding entertainment value to each live episode. However, success is determined by the public vote in each episode. The system involves the same phone number, with exception for the last two digits which, beginning at "01", is assigned to each participant by order of appearance. The phone number is displayed twice for viewers  – once after a participant's performance is over, and a second time after all performances are completed and phone lines opened. Voting is conducted over a set time period, and closed before the results episode of each stage of the live rounds is shown, with the public vote results not detailing the actual number of votes or the ranked order (1st to last) the public placed each participant in.[22]

In the elimination heats, the two participants to be the lowest ranked in the public vote are revealed, and thus face off against each other in a "final showdown". This consists of conducting a new performance primarily for the judges  – while earlier series focused on reprisal of their earlier songs, producers later changed this after the fourth series to allow them to pick new songs to perform to. After their performances are completed, the judges vote on which act to eliminate by a majority vote; though since the fourth series saw the inclusion of a fourth judge, the results in the public vote end the deadlock of a tied vote between the judges. After the number of participants reach a set amount in the final heat, no showdown is involved  – the participant who polled with the fewest votes in the public vote is automatically eliminated immediately. In the final, the public vote decides the winner, who receives at the end of the competition a £1 million recording contract with Syco Music, in association with Sony Music, which, by the beginning of the fifth series, included a £150,000 cash advance with the balance covering the costs of recording and marketing.[3] Other highly placed contestants may also be offered recording deals, but this is not guaranteed.[3]

Judges and presenters

  1. ^Tulisa returned as a guest judge for a single live episode in 2014. She covered for Mel B, who was unable to attend due to illness.
  2. ^Scherzinger was a guest judge in the 2010 series.
  3. ^Mel B was a guest judge in the 2012 series. She later returned as a guest for a single audition episode in 2016 that Scherzinger could not attend due to scheduling conflicts.
  4. ^Friedman was originally recruited to be a permanent judge to replace Walsh, but was later denoted as a guest judge when he was later reassigned as a creative director on the programme and Walsh agreed to return for the fourth series.
  5. ^ abcdStood in for Dannii Minogue during her maternity leave.
  6. ^Only as a stand-in for Rowland in live episodes of this series that she was unable to attend for medical reasons.
  7. ^ abcGuest judge for the auditions.
  8. ^Dixon served as a guest judge on three separate occasions during this series as a stand-in for another judge: for Scherzinger, who could not attend an audition episode due to other commitments; for Osbourne, who could not attend an audition episode due a long-standing back injury; and for Cowell, who could not attend a live episode.
  9. ^Rogers served as guest judge for three live episodes, as a stand-in for Williams, who had other arrangements during each episodes scheduled airdate.

Judging history

For the first three series after the programme began in 2004, the judging panel consisted of music executive and TV producer Simon Cowell, and music managers Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh, while it was presented by Kate Thornton. In March 2007, Thornton was dropped from the programme, with Dermot O'Leary offered a two-year contract, worth £1 million, to take over as host,[23] which eventually led to him ending his involvement in the Big Brother franchise later that year to concentrate on his new role.[24] In June that same year, the judging panel was expanded to include a fourth judge, and saw changes in the lineup: Brian Friedman took over from Walsh when he chose to leave the programme,[25] while Australian singer Dannii Minogue joined the panel. However, Friedman later dropped out of the panel during auditions for the fourth series, being later reassigned as a creative director for the programme, while Walsh agreed to return as a result of this situation.[26] Osbourne later left the programme before the fifth series in 2008,[27] with ITV later replacing her with Cheryl.[28][29] During the seventh series, Minogue went on maternity leave, leaving the production staff to fill her place on the panel with a series of guest judges during auditions  – these included Geri Halliwell, Natalie Imbruglia, Katy Perry, Pixie Lott and Nicole Scherzinger.

In May 2011, Cowell and Cheryl announced their decision to leave the programme before the eighth series, in order to concentrate on the American edition of the programme.[30] That same month, Minogue also left the programme, citing that her schedule for the live episodes of Australia's Got Talent that year would conflict with her involvement with The X Factor.[31] Several celebrities in the music industry were approached to replace all three,[32][33] before the producers opted for their replacements to be Gary Barlow, Tulisa, and Kelly Rowland.[34][35][36][37][38] During the eighth series, Rowland was unable to attend live episodes due to medical reasons, leading to previous X Factor winner Alexandra Burke standing in for her.[39] After the series concluded, Rowland opted to drop out of the programme due to other commitments,[40][41] leading to a series of guest judges being used during the ninth series,[42] before Nicole Scherzinger was chosen as her replacement.[43][44] In May 2013, Tulisa announced she was leaving The X Factor,[45] with Osbourne revealed to be returning,[46] but later clarifying it was for the tenth series only,[47] with Barlow announcing during its live episodes that he would also be leaving The X Factor after the series' conclusion.[48]

In February 2014, Cowell announced his return as a judge for the eleventh series,[49][50] as he worked to reinvent the programme. The panel saw him bring back Cheryl as Osbourne's replacement,[51][52] while replacing Scherzinger with Spice Girls member Mel B.[53] In March 2015, O'Leary announced that he was quitting the show in order to pursue other projects, and was replaced a month later by both Olly Murs and Caroline Flack as co-presenters,[54] the latter having served as a backstage presenter since 2013.[55] Walsh later left the programme in May 2015, after revealing that he had spent enough time on The X Factor.[56] With Mel B not signing up for another series, both judges were replaced by Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora.[57]

In February 2016, Murs quit the programme to focus on his music career,[58] with Flack later departing the programme around the same time.[59] The following month, O'Leary rejoined the programme as presenter.[60] Alongside the change in presenters, the judging panel was also changed again  – after Grimshaw left in February 2016,[61] Cheryl in April,[62] and Ora in May,[63] Cowell was rejoined by Walsh, Osbourne and Scherzinger,[64] for the next two years,[65] though the latter two cast doubts on this arrangement.[66][67] Cowell was joined on the judging panel by Robbie Williams, Ayda Field and Louis Tomlinson for the fifteenth and final series in 2018.[68][69]

Series overview

  • ^1 Winner, runner-up and third place fields include both the participant's name and the category they were placed under in that year's competition.
  • ^2 Viewing figure information is provided by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB)
  • ^3 Roughly one third of the episodes in the fifteenth series failed to gain enough viewers to make it into the top 15 programmes for their respective weeks; thus many figures are unavailable. The actual average value is less than the 6.19 million figure (which has been calculated using only the figures available).



Graph showing the trend in UK viewership across the fifteen series, with The X Factorreaching its ratings peak by the seventh series.

When the programme initially began in 2004, its viewing figures fell behind those for the BBC's rival talent show Strictly Come Dancing. However, the situation changed in the following year, when the second series began to attract a larger audience share.[71] While the second series attracted an average of over 8 million viewers during its broadcast, consecutive series increased these figures  – peak audience figures for the fourth series' live final surpassed over 12.7 million viewers, achieving a share of 55% share of the terrestrial TV audience,[72] while the sixth series achieved a peak audience of 19.1 million viewers and over 63% of the audience share during its broadcast.[73] Viewing figures reached their peak by 2010, with the seventh series achieving average viewing figures of over 14 million viewers, and its live final achieving a peak audience of 19.4 million viewers.[74]

In 2011, the eighth series achieved an average viewing figure of 12.4 million viewers during its broadcast, and was effectively overtaken in the ratings battle by Strictly Come Dancing, especially for its live final.[75] From 2012 onwards, ratings of The X Factor went into sharp decline  – the tenth series achieved an average viewing audience of 8.5 million viewers, much less than Strictly Come Dancing, with later series proving less popular on Saturday evenings compared to other programmes, such as Michael McIntyre's Big Show and Planet Earth II.

By 2017, ratings for the programme were effectively worse off, with The X Factor achieving low average viewing figures of less than seven million viewers, effectively placing its future in doubt after the fifteenth series, and leading to its eventual cancellation.[6]


At the 2005 British Comedy Awards, The X Factor beat Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway to take the award for Best Comedy Entertainment Programme. This prompting Cowell to remark, "We're not a comedy programme, we're a serious factual drama".[76] In both 2005 and 2006, The X Factor won the award for "Most Popular Entertainment Programme" at the National Television Awards.[citation needed] At the same awards in 2007, the show also won the award for "Most Popular Talent Show".[citation needed] In 2008 it lost out to Strictly Come Dancing at the TV Quick Awards, TRIC Awards and National Television Awards,[clarification needed] despite beating it in the ratings.[citation needed] In 2010, The X Factor won "Best Talent Show" at the National Television Awards.[citation needed]

The show won the Entertainment award at the 2010 Royal Television Society Awards, described as "Undeniably a brilliant, genre-defining piece of television; the team behind this show never rest on their laurels and are determined to continually raise the bar and set new standards. Must-see television, which everyone talks about on a Monday morning."[77] At the 2011 National Television Awards, The X Factor won the Talent Show award, beating Strictly Come Dancing, Britain's Got Talent and Dancing on Ice.[78] At the 2012 National Television Awards, The X Factor again beat Strictly Come Dancing, Britain's Got Talent and Dancing on Ice to the award. The show also won Best UK TV Show at the 2012 Kids' Choice Awards.[79] At the 2015 National Television Awards, The X Factor won Best Talent Show for the first time in three years, beating Strictly Come Dancing, Britain's Got Talent and The Voice UK.[80]

Controversies and criticism

Main article: Controversy and criticism of The X Factor (British TV series)

From the outset, The X Factor has attracted heavy criticism. Recurring allegations include: that the excessive commercialism of the show detracts from its supposed purpose of unearthing musical talent and even actively damages and distorts the UK music industry;[81] that auditionees at mass auditions are shabbily treated; that controversy is deliberately courted and orchestrated, and supposedly spontaneous scenes are staged and scripted; that problems with phone lines leave members of the public unable to vote for their favourite acts; and that contestants are manipulated and unfairly edited.

This criticism became very public in 2009 when a Facebook campaign targeted against The X Factor and its effect on British music took "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine to the Christmas number one spot at the expense of the X Factor winner's single by Joe McElderry.[82]

The X Factor usually has at least one "novelty" or "joke" act in the live shows,[83] which help to boost ratings and add some fun into the live shows, although they tend to be controversial due to the show being primarily a singing competition.[84] Judge Gary Barlow reportedly had an issue with joke acts when asked to mentor the Overs category in the ninth series, because "Gary doesn't like joke acts and the Overs category is often full of novelty acts."[85] Despite controversially being part of the format, their non-involvement in the tenth series drew criticism: "The fact that the joke contestants made it through to the live shows used to be the most gloriously British part of The X Factor. We love an underdog... It was a vital part of the format."[86]

International broadcasts


The Xtra Factor (2004–2016)

Main article: The Xtra Factor (British TV series)

The Xtra Factor (known as The Xtra Factor Live in 2016) was a behind-the-scenes companion show that was broadcast on ITV2 in the UK and on TV3 in Ireland, usually on Saturday and Sunday nights after the main show, this aired from 4 September 2004 to 11 December 2016. On 18 January 2017, it was announced that The Xtra Factor would be axed after 13 years and would be replaced by an online show instead.[91]

The X Factor: Battle of the Stars (2006)

Main article: The X Factor: Battle of the Stars

The X Factor: Battle of the Stars was a celebrity special edition of The X Factor, which screened on ITV, starting on 29 May 2006 and lasting for eight consecutive nights. Pop Idol was intended to be broadcast in its place as Celebrity Pop Idol but was stopped shortly before transmission, when ITV selected The X Factor instead.

Nine celebrity acts participated, singing live in front of the nation and facing the judges of the previous The X Factor series: Cowell, Osbourne and Walsh. Voting revenues were donated to the celebrities' chosen charities. The contestants were Michelle Marsh, Nikki Sanderson, Matt Stevens, Lucy Benjamin, Gillian McKeith, Chris Moyles, Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee, James Hewitt and Rebecca Loos, and "The Chefs", a quartet of celebrity chefs comprising Jean-Christophe Novelli, Aldo Zilli, Paul Rankin and Ross Burden. The winner of the show was Lucy Benjamin, mentored by Walsh.[92]

Xtra Bites (2017–2019)

Xtra Bites is the second companion and spin-off show to The X Factor which replaced The Xtra Factor, although Xtra Bites is an online spin-off show which started airing in 2017. The show looks at all the action from the show including behind the scenes footage of the judges and interviews with contestants from the show. It is uploaded onto ITV Hub, the show's YouTube channel, and the X Factor page on the Just Eat website. There were 13 episodes uploaded altogether for the first series, all presented by Becca Dudley.[93][94] On 23 August 2018, it was announced that Xtra Bites would return for another series after a successful first series, with new presenters Dudley and Tinea Taylor.[95]Vick Hope took over as host for the celebrity series in 2019.[96]

The X Factor: Celebrity (2019)

Main article: The X Factor: Celebrity

A second edition of Battle of the Stars was confirmed in the latter half of 2019 as The X Factor: Celebrity and began in October 2019. The show was won by Megan McKenna, with Max and Harvey finishing as runners-up.[97]

The X Factor: The Band (2019)

Main article: The X Factor: The Band

In November 2019, Cowell announced that The X Factor: The Band would launch on 9 December 2019, with the premise of finding either the biggest male or female group. Each episode lasted for 90 minutes.[98] The show was won by Real Like You, a girl group composed of Jess Folley, Virginia Hampson, Luena Martinèz, Seorsia Jack, Halle Williams and Kellimarie Willis.[99]

Music releases by The X Factor contestants

Main article: The X Factor (British TV series) discography

As of June 2015[update], the show has spawned a total of 35 number-one singles: 10 winners' singles (six of which have been the Christmas number one), four charity singles (one each by the finalists of series 5, 6, 7 and 8), and 21 other number-ones by contestants who have appeared on the show (including winners and runners-up).

By series 6 in 2009, it had seemingly become such a certainty that the X Factor winner would gain the Christmas number one slot every year that bookmakers William Hill were considering withdrawing from the 30-year tradition of betting on the outcome.[100] However, hostility to the show's stranglehold on the Christmas number one slot from some quarters had prompted attempts to propel an alternative song to the 2008 Christmas number one spot, and in 2009 a similar internet-led campaign was successful, taking Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" to Christmas number one at the expense of The X Factor winner Joe McElderry.[101] McElderry's single climbed to the top of the chart a week later.

In series 1–2, the winner's debut album would be released a few months after their victory in the show. The album would contain some new material but would consist largely of cover versions. This format changed with series 3 winner Leona Lewis. Cowell, Lewis's X Factor mentor and newly appointed manager, said: "We could have gone into the studio for a month, made the record quick, and thrown it out. It would have been the wrong thing to do."[102] The success of Lewis's debut album Spirit ensured that the debut albums of future series winners (such as series 4 winner Leon Jackson) would consist more of new material than of cover versions. Series 10 winner Sam Bailey, however, released her debut album of covers, The Power of Love, in March 2014, just three months after winning – the earliest ever debut album release by an X Factor winner.

Charity singles

During the fifth series of the show, the finalists released a cover of Mariah Carey's "Hero" in aid of Help for Heroes which reached number one in the UK singles charts. Following the success of the song, Cowell announced that a charity single would be released annually (though the process was discontinued in series 9). He is quoted as saying: "Following last year's record we made with the X Factor finalists in aid of Help for Heroes, we decided we wanted to do something annually on the show to help good causes."[103]

The 2009 finalists released a cover of Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone" which was released in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital[103] and reached number one.[104]

The 2010 finalists released a cover of David Bowie's ""Heroes"", with proceeds once again going to the Help for Heroes charity.[105]

In 2011, the finalists released Rose Royce's "Wishing on a Star" and the proceeds were donated to Together for Short Lives.[106] This song features previous contestants JLS and One Direction.[107] In 2012, it was announced that the winner's single would also be the charity single.[108]

The charity single was scrapped after series 8, although the winner's singles from series 9 onwards were all released for charity.

The X Factor – The Greatest Hits

In celebration of the show's 10th series, The X Factor – The Greatest Hits was released on 25 November 2013. The album features 34 songs from 21 of the show's finalists.[113][114][115]

The X Factor Songbook

The X Factor Songbook is a 60-song compilation album released 24 November 2014.[117]


  • Series 1: The X Factor Revealed: The Greatest Auditions Ever (2005)
  • Series 2: The X Factor: The Greatest Auditions Ever (2006)
  • Series 3: The X Factor Revealed (2007)
  • Series 4: The X Factor – interactive DVD game (2007)
  • Series 4: The X Factor Sing – karaoke console game (2007)
  • Series 5: The X Factor: The Board Game (2009)
  • Series 5: Top Trumps X Factor – card game (2008)
  • Series 7: The X Factor – karaoke console game (2010)[citation needed]
  • Series 1–3: The X Factor: Access All Areas (2007)
  • Series 6: The X Factor Annual (2009)[118]
  • Series 7: The X Factor Annual (2010)
  • Series 7: The Xtra Factor Annual (2010)[119]
  • Series 8: The X Factor Annual (2011)
  • X Magazine – weekly publication to accompany the seventh series in 2010.[120]

The X Factor brand has also appeared on clothing, jewellery,[121] perfume, make-up, toiletries,[122] bedding, gifts, confectionery,[123] soft drinks[124] and pizzas.[125]


While The X Factor had attracted a large degree of mass appeal from among the British public, become a synonymous part of Saturday night television,[126][127] after its peak in 2010, viewing figures declined by more than 50% over the next decade, with its final series aired in 2018.[128] Although the programme was put into hiatus by Cowell in 2019, to give the format a break and determine how best to proceed with it, this hiatus continued on throughout 2020, until ITV formally announced in July 2021 that it had 'no current plans' for another series. At the time of its cancellation, the programme's overall format and presentation was described as having gone 'slightly stale' towards the end,[129] with no major appeal to television audience.[130]


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  3. ^ abcSherwin, Adam (13 December 2008). "Hallelujah: how Leonard Cohen became an X Factor winner without trying". The Times.
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  18. ^"About The X Factor". ITV. 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
  19. ^"Cowell: 'X Factor' judges are out of sync'". Digital Spy. 16 August 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
  20. ^Darvill, Josh (13 August 2013). "XFactor 2013: Sharon Osbourne finds new Bootcamp twist difficult". TellyMix. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  21. ^Nigel Lewis (11 April 2010). "Private view: A house with real X Factor". Primelocation.
  22. ^Conlan, Tara (14 November 2008). "Fans of X Factor's Laura White complain to Ofcom over voting". The Guardian.
  23. ^Brook, Stephen (30 March 2007). "Has Dermot O'Leary got the X Factor?". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  24. ^"O'Leary leaves Big Brother show". BBC News. 28 November 2007. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  25. ^"Walsh to step down from X Factor". BBC News. 8 March 2007.
  26. ^"Louis Walsh in X Factor comeback". BBC News. 22 June 2007.
  27. ^"Sharon leaves The X Factor". itv.com. 6 June 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2008.
  28. ^"Cheryl joins The X Factor". itv.com. ITV. 10 June 2008. Archived from the original on 2 October 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
  29. ^"Cheryl is the new judge!". itv.com. ITV. 10 June 2008. Archived from the original on 30 July 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
  30. ^"Cheryl Cole joins The X Factor USA". The X Factor. itv.com. May 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  31. ^"Dannii Minogue leaves X Factor". The Belfast Telegraph. 14 May 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
  32. ^Love, Ryan (April 2011). "Frankie Sandford meets with X Factor bosses". Digital Spy. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  33. ^Daniels, Colin (May 2011). "Alesha Dixon in talks to join X Factor panel". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  34. ^"Gary Barlow 'joins X Factor' as Simon Cowell snubs Nicole Scherzinger". Metro. 7 May 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2014.[permanent dead link]
  35. ^"Kelly Rowland to replace Dannii Minogue as judge on 'The X Factor'". NME. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  36. ^"Dannii Minogue to be replaced by N-Dubz Tulisa on X Factor!"
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_X_Factor_(British_TV_series)

X Factor winners list: Who won each series and who did they beat in the final?

THE X Factor has given some of the world's biggest pop stars their breakthrough in music.

However, all good things come to the end, with The Sun revealing the show is to be axed - here we take a look back at The X Factor's former champions and who they had to beat to be crowned the winner...

 The X Factor 2018 judging panel consisted of Simon Cowell, Ayda Field, Robie Williams and Louis Tomlinson


2004 - Steve Brookstein

Steve Brookstein became the mums' favourite and took home the first-ever champion X Factor spot in 2004.

Mentored by Simon Cowell, he beat opera group G4 and young singer Tabby Callaghan in the final - despite Sharon Osbourne's protests.

He later released Against All Odds as his winner's single, which reached number one in the UK.

But after one album, he was dropped.

He has, however, maintained a level of press attention thanks to the vocalisation of some extreme opinions on Twitter.

 Steve was the first ever winner of X Factor


2005 - Shayne Ward

Shayne became a firm favourite throughout the second series of X Factor and was crowned the winner in 2005, beating Andy Abraham.

His single, That's My Goal, made it to number one that Christmas.

Since then he has released four albums – a self-titled debut which went 4x platinum upon its release in April 2006; Breathless, which went 5x platinum following its 2007 release; Obsession in 2010, which failed to chart; and Closer, which he released in 2015 independently after he was dropped by his record label.

As well as his music career, he later took on the role of Staycee Jaxx in the 80s musical Rock of Ages on the West End and stayed with the show from 2011 to 2012.

He is now most known for his acting chops, becoming a regular cast member of Coronation Street since 2015 until his emotional departure in 2018.

But he has since said that he does intend to return to music.

 Shayne wept as he won and after three albums is most known for his acting career


2006 - Leona Lewis

Her winner's single, A Moment Like This, hit platinum status and spent four weeks at number one.

After her win against Ray Quinn, she became the first internationally recognised winner of the show, cracking the tough American market.

As of 2017, she has released five albums, including a Christmas album, and her debut album Spirit sold 9million copies.

Her massive hits include a cover of Snow Patrol's Run, and original song Bleeding Love, and she's bagged two MOBO awards and a VMA.

She also performed in the musical Cats as character Grizabella on Broadway in 2016.

 Leona Lewis became the first megastar from the show


2007 - Leon Jackson

Mentored by Dannii Minogue, Leon Jackson became the shock winner of the series, beating Rhydian Roberts to the win.

Covering Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston track When You Believe as his winner's song, it became the fastest selling single of 2007 and Leon became the first Scottish singer to ever get a Christmas number one.

He released one album with SyCo the following year, before breaking ties with the label and going it alone.

Leon is yet to make a follow-up release but travels to and from Los Angeles working as a songwriter.

 Leon Jackson now works as a songwriter


2008 - Alexandra Burke

Alexandra Burke stormed to victory over JLS in the final of the 2008 series, though both went on to have incredible pop success.

Her hit singles have included a cover of the iconic track Hallelujah, and dance anthems Bad Boys, All Night Long and Broken Heels.

She has released two albums since her win, Overcome in 2009 and Heartbreak on Hold in 2012, as well as EP Renegade in 2015.

Her success was so big that she was personally name-checked by Beyonce as someone she wanted to collaborate with, and she signed a deal to be the face of fashion label Dolce and Gabbana.

Alexandra has since moved to the stage, taking on the lead role in the Sister Act musical and Whitney Houston's role in The Bodyguard in the West End.

 Alexandra Burke couldnt hide her shock as she was named champion


2009 - Joe McElderry

Joe was only eighteen years old when he managed to win the 2009 series of the talent show.

His fellow finalists, Olly Murs and Stacey Solomon, have also gone on to massive success as a pop star and TV presenter respectively.

His single, a cover of Miley Cyrus hit The Climb, failed to make No.1 after a successful campaign to get Rage Against the Machine's Killing In The Name Of to the top spot.

After two years with Simon Cowell's label SyCo, he was dropped and was instead picked up by Decca Records.

In 2011, Joe tried his hand at opera singing in the second series of Popstar to Opera Star - and continued his winning streak by going home champion.

He won with an impressive 77% of the vote - beating Cheryl Baker in the final.

In 2014, he became the emergency replacement on The Jump after Henry Conway was injured - and again, he won the show.

Joe is now in a touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

This is the second time he's been in the role, after initially getting the part in a tour running from January to July 2016.

 Joe McElderry formed a close bond with mentor Cheryl before his win


2010 - Matt Cardle

After Matt won the show, he was nominated for a BRIT award for his winner's single, When We Collide, originally by Biffy Clyro.

However, his success was quickly overtaken by One Direction's - who shockingly came in runner-up to him in the finale.

After a year, Matt decided to leave his label, citing that he "needed to be selfish" as One Direction continued to dominate the charts and the label's focus as a result.

He has released four studio albums since his win and took the lead role in musical Memphis in the West End in 2015.

 Matt defied the odds and beat One Direction to the top spot


2011 - Little Mix

The four-piece girl group were put together by Simon during the audition process, and have become the show's biggest winning act to date.

While others (like One Direction and Olly Murs) have achieved commercial success, Little Mix broke the mould by being the only ones to win the competition and go on to huge success.

They were the first band to win the competition, beating Marcus Collins, and also broke records held by the Spice Girls in the US.

To date they have released five albums, all peaking inside the top ten, and their hit songs have included Salute, Black Magic, Shout Out To My Ex and Woman Like Me.

 Little Mix are unrecognisable now from their time on the show


2012 - James Arthur

James Arthur was crowned the winner of the ninth series of the show after beating Jahmene Douglas.

He went on to become the fastest-selling X Factor winner to that date with his debut - a cover of Shontelle's Impossible.

His follow up single, 'You’re Nobody ’til Somebody Loves You’, reached number two on the UK charts and his self-titled debut album did the same in November 2013.

But James experienced the less desirable side of fame soon after he won the X Factor - with several women coming forward and revealing his 'sexcapades' with them, including Ria Vincent and a prostitute who revealed she performed a sex act on James while he kept his socks on.

Danielle Withey, 18, revealed that the singer made her go pick up a £5 bottle of Rose wine and then wore his jumper.

James was dropped from SyCo in June 2014, but in a first, he re-signed to SyCo Records after he had cleaned up his act.

Releasing Say you Won't Let Go in September 2016, it rocketed to the top of the UK music charts - as well as number 11 in the American Billboard Hot 100.

His subsequent album, Back From The Edge, was released in October 2016 and also topped the charts - confirming his fans had welcomed him back to the spotlight.

 James Arthur famously got dropped by Syco two years after winning the show but has since smoothed things over with Simon Cowell


2013 - Sam Bailey

In the live finals, Sam worked her way to secure her spot by fighting off competitors including Sam Callahan, Luke Friend and Tamera Foster.

When she won, Sam made it to the coveted Christmas Number One spot with a cover of Demi Lovato's Skyscraper.

After The X Factor, Sam released her debut album The Power Of Love in March 2014. The album reached the top spot of the albums chart in the UK and sold over 160,000 copies.

She self-funded her second album, Sing My Heart Out, after being axed by Simon Cowell’s record label.

In 2016 Bailey starred in the musical Chicago where she played the role of Mama Morton and in May 2017 she was announced as a lead role in Fat Friends: The Musical.

 Sam took the top spot with the help of her mentor Sharon Osbourne, who is now godmother to her daughter


2014 - Ben Haenow

When Ben won the X Factor in 2014, he released a cover of Something I Need by One Republic and again, the song charted at Christmas number one.

He then followed up his success by duetting with Kelly Clarkson on single Second Hand Heart, and releasing a self-titled debut album the following year.

He left SyCo in January 2016 and since then has been working independently.

Fleur East, who came in second, has continued the streak of the runner-ups surpassing the winners and has achieved chart success thanks to her dance anthems including Sax.

 Ben Haenow won the show in 2014


2015 - Louisa Johnson

Louisa bagged the top spot on the show after beating out duo Reggie N Bollie in the 2015 final.

She was also the youngest winner of the show to date, only being seventeen when she got the crown.

After the release of her winner's single, Forever Young, she was featured on Clean Bandit's single, Tears.

The star was due to release her album in 2016, but pushed it back to 2017.

She has also worked with fellow former X Factor star, Olly Murs, releasing song Unpredictable, and toured the UK as his support act.

 Louisa Johnson is the youngest ever winner of the show


2016 - Matt Terry

Beating Saara Aalto and 5 After Midnight to the top spot, Matt was the first winner ever NOT to get a contract with SyCo.

Instead, he was signed to Sony label RCA in a bid to make him the "new Olly Murs".

In November 2017, he released his first album, Trouble - which became the show's lowest selling debut to date coming in only at number 29 in the charts.  

He returned to the X Factor in 2017 to perform his single, The Thing About Love, which peaked at number 51 on the Official Charts.

 Matt was signed to Sony's RCA after winning the 2016 series


2017 - Rak-Su

The Watford four-piece was the second band to ever make it to the top spot - and were the first to release a duet as their winner's single.

Before the band were even crowned champions, their performance releases for each live show charted, with three hitting the number one spot on the iTunes chart.

Their single, Dimelo, was a song they had created themselves and was performed with Wyclef Jean and Naughty Boy.

Grace Davies was their runner-up, and French-singer Kevin Davy White came third.

 Watford boys Rak-Su released their own original song after winning the X Factor 2017


2018 -Dalton Harris

The Jamaican born singer was victorious in the 15th series of the X Factor in 2018.

At the time, host Dermot O'Leary announced him as the champion, with him beating fellow finalists Scarlett Lee and Antony Russell.

Since winning the ITV contest, the singer has produced a track with X Factor alum James Arthur called Power of Love - which reached No4.

On July 20, 2019, Dalton performed at the Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay, Jamaica - one of the biggest music festivals in the Caribbean.

For all the latest news and updates from tonight's show, stay tuned with out X Factor: Celebrity live blog.

 Dalton Harris won the 15th series of the X Factor in 2018


Rak-Su are joined by Naughty Boy and Wyclef Jean to perform original song Dimelo on The X Factor 2017 final


Sours: https://www.thesun.co.uk/tv/4241652/x-factor-winners-who-beat-final/

Factor winners x

The X Factor (American TV series)

Former American television series

The X Factor is an Americanreality television music competition show created by Simon Cowell and produced by FremantleMedia North America and SYCOtv, a partnership between Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment, which aired on Fox.[2] Based on the original UK show, and an addition to The X Factor franchise, the series found new singing talent (solo artists and groups ages 12 and over), drawn from public auditions, and they competed against each other for votes. The winner is determined by the show's viewers via telephone, the Internet, and SMS text voting, and is awarded a recording contract with Cowell's record label Syco Music, worth $5 million in seasons one and two, and $1 million in season three. America voted for the following winners: Melanie Amaro, Tate Stevens, and Alex & Sierra, respectively.

The show began airing on September 21, 2011,[3] and aired annually from September through December. The series employs a panel of judges who critique the contestants' performances. Each contestant is assigned to one of four categories. The group acts are one category and the others are based on age or gender. For example, in season 1 the categories were girls, boys, groups, and over 30s. Each judge was assigned to one of the categories,[4] and acted as a mentor to the contestants in his or her category, helping with song choices, styling, and staging, while also judging contestants from the other categories after each of the live performances. They competed with each other to try to get one of the contestants in their category to win the competition, thus making them the winning judge.

The most successful act to emerge from the series is Fifth Harmony, with all members launching solo careers.[5]

The original judging panel consisted of Cowell, Paula Abdul, Cheryl Cole, and L.A. Reid, with Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones as co-hosts. Scherzinger later replaced Cole on the panel after two audition sites. Demi Lovato and Britney Spears joined the panel in the second season as replacements for Abdul and Scherzinger, while Khloé Kardashian and Mario Lopez replaced Jones as co-hosts. Reid and Spears did not return for the third season and were replaced by Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio, while Lopez became sole host after Kardashian was not asked to come back.

Announcement and launch[edit]

On January 11, 2010, News Corporation (via Fox News in the U.S. and The Times in the UK) reported that Cowell would leave American Idol after season nine in order to bring The X Factor to the United States in September 2011. Cowell told the Television Critics Association that he was leaving American Idol so that he could judge and act as executive producer of the U.S. version of The X Factor.[6] Additionally, Cowell signed a long-term contract with Sony Music, who already supported Syco Music artists in the UK, under which he was involved with the production of the U.S. version of the show and also worked with the artists who won recording contracts.[2]

In November 2010, Fox began airing short commercials for the program, which displayed the text "Coming to America Fall 2011".[7][8]The New York Times described the commercials as efforts by the network to set up the launch of The X Factor as a television "event."[7] In February 2011, during Super Bowl XLV, Fox unveiled the official logo for the show in a promo starring Cowell.[9] A second promo was shown during the course of that evening, featuring Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Lady Gaga, the Pussycat Dolls, and Madonna. This promo gave rise to speculation about who would join Cowell on the X Factor judging panel.[10]

In November 2014, it was reported that Cowell was considering re-launching the American version in 2015, though this was proved untrue.[11] However, Cowell has said he was more than willing to give the American version another go, and that they received offers to bring it back on other networks, though he said he would bring it back when there is less competition in the TV talent show landscape.



The show is primarily concerned with identifying singing talent, though appearance, personality, stage presence and dance routines are also an important element of many performances. Each judge is assigned one of four categories, to use their experience to help the artists. For season one, these categories were: "Boys" (aged 12–29 males), "Girls" (aged 12–29 females), "Over 30s" (solo acts aged 30 and over), and "Groups" (including duos). Season two's categories and age group boundaries were changed, with the "Boys" and "Girls" categories becoming "Teens" (solo acts aged 12–17) and "Young Adults" (solo acts aged 18–24), and the "Over 30s" became "Over 25s" (solo acts aged 25 and over). For both seasons, some groups were formed from soloists and other groups rejected after the audition process.[4] Through the live shows, the judges act as mentors to their category, helping to decide song choices, styling, and staging, while judging contestants from other categories.

Stages for seasons 1 and 2[edit]

There are five stages to the competition:

  • Stage 1: Producers' auditions (these auditions decide who will sing in front of the judges)
  • Stage 2: Judges' auditions
  • Stage 3: Boot camp
  • Stage 4: Judges' houses
  • Stage 5: Live shows (finals)

Stages for season 3[edit]

There are four stages to the competition:

  • Stage 1: Producers' audition (these auditions decide who will sing in front of the judges)
  • Stage 2: Judges' auditions
  • Stage 3: Four-chair challenge
  • Stage 4: Live shows (finals)


The show is open to solo artists and vocal groups aged 12 and above, with no upper age limit.[12][13] Applicants are given an opportunity to apply by uploading a video audition to the Internet. The show's producers also send a "mobile audition van" to various locations throughout the U.S. to audition singers who are unable to attend the arena auditions. A round of first auditions is held in front of producers months before the show is aired, some by application and appointment, and others in "open" auditions that anyone can attend. These auditions, held at various venues around the U.S., attract very large crowds. The producers' auditions are not televised, but shots of crowds waving and "judges' cars" arriving are filmed and later spliced in with the televised auditions shot later in the year. After waiting at the venue for hours (during which crews film more shots of crowds screaming and waving), each candidate is given a brief audition by someone from the production team. If they pass that audition (either because of their talent or because the producers think they will make entertaining television), they are given a "golden ticket" that allows them to audition for a more senior member of the production team. Only candidates who successfully pass this second audition (and then a third along similar lines) are invited to perform in front of the judges. (The televised version misleadingly gives the impression that everyone in the huge crowds shown is waiting for a chance to perform for the judges.)

A selection of the auditions in front of the judges – usually the best, the worst and the most bizarre – are broadcast during the first few weeks of the show. The judges' auditions are held in front of a live audience, and the acts sing over a backing track. If a majority of the judges (in this case, at least three judges) have to say "yes" then the act goes through to the next stage, otherwise, they are sent home.

Boot camp and judges' houses[edit]

In the first two seasons, The contestants selected at the auditions were further refined through a series of performances at "boot camp", and then at the "judges' houses", until a small number eventually progressed to the live finals (seventeen in season 1, and sixteen in season 2).

At boot camp, the judges collaboratively chose a small number of acts (32 in season 1 with eight in each category; 24 in season 2 with six in each category) for the next round, "judges' houses". The producers then assigned each of the judges a category to mentor, and the judges split up for the "judges' houses" round, in which each of them hosted the contestants in their assigned category at a luxurious residence, often scattered around the globe. The houses the contestants visited did not in every case actually belong to the judges, some were rented for the occasion.

The contestants did not know who their mentor would be until they arrived at that judge's house.

During this round, each judge held another round of auditions on location, and then further reduced the number of acts with the help of a celebrity guest.

In season three, these stages of the competition are being replaced by a new stage called "The Six-Chair Challenge", first introduced in the Dutch version of the series.[14]

Live shows[edit]

The selected finalists (either 16 or 17 acts) move into shared accommodation at the Hollywood Hills to take part in the show. The mansion is also notably used for housing the finalists from American Idol.[15]

The finals consist of a series of two live shows, the first featuring the contestants' performances and the second revealing the results of the public voting, culminating in one or more acts being eliminated. Celebrity guest performers also feature regularly. These live shows are filmed at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, California. The performance shows are broadcast on Wednesday nights and the results show on Thursday nights. In season one, seventeen acts were put through to the live shows, and sixteen acts were put through in season two.

In addition to the live broadcast on Fox, Sony and SYCOtv created a completely integrated second-screen experience and a Pepsi sponsored live digital pre-show known as The X Factor Digital Experience. In addition to watching the program live on television, the audience was now able to participate on multiple platforms in real-time.[16][17]


The show is primarily concerned with identifying a potential pop star or star group, and singing talent, appearance, personality, stage presence and dance routines are all important elements of the contestants' performances. In the initial live shows, each act performs once in the first show in front of a studio audience and the judges, usually singing over a pre-recorded backing track. Dancers are also commonly featured. Acts occasionally accompany themselves on guitar or piano. Each live show has had a different theme; each contestant's song is chosen according to the theme. After each act has performed, the judges comment on their performance. Heated disagreements, usually involving judges defending their contestants against criticism, are a regular feature of the show. Once all the acts have appeared, the phone lines open and the viewing public vote on which act they want to keep. Once the number of contestants has been reduced to five (season 1), or six (season 2), each act would perform twice in the performances show. This continues until only three acts remain. These acts go on to appear in the grand final which decides the overall winner by public vote.


Before the results are announced, the results show occasionally begins with a group performance from the remaining contestants. However, the song is pre-recorded and the contestants mime, due to problems with the number of microphones.[citation needed] The two acts polling the fewest votes are revealed. Both these acts perform again in a "final showdown", and the judges vote on which of the two to send home. They were able to pick new songs to perform in the "final showdown". "Double elimination" took place in some of the results show, where the bottom three acts were revealed and the act with the fewest votes was automatically eliminated, and the two with the next fewest votes performed in the "final showdown" as normal. In season two, at the end of each result show, the rankings of the acts based on the public votes were announced.

Ties are possible as there are four judges voting on which of the two to send home. In the event of a tie, the result goes to deadlock, and the act who finished last in the public vote is sent home. The actual number of votes cast for each act is not revealed, nor even the order until after the season's conclusion. However, a twist occurred in season two where the rankings of the acts based on the public vote for the week were revealed after the eliminations on the show. Once the number of contestants has been reduced to four, the act which received the lowest number votes is automatically eliminated from the competition (the judges do not have a vote; their only role is to comment on the performances).


Season Twist
OneAt the end of judges' houses, it was announced that Cowell would bring back one further act from his "Girls" category that he had eliminated at the judges' houses. He believed that he had made "a huge mistake" at judges' houses by not choosing the act for the live shows. The act was later revealed to be Melanie Amaro and therefore season one had a final 17 instead of a final 16. On the first live show, there was no public vote. Instead, each of the judges selected one of their own acts to eliminate. Cowell had to eliminate two acts because he included Amaro as a fifth contestant in his category.
TwoSimilar to season one, there was no public vote on the first live show and each of the mentors selected one of their own acts to eliminate. However, prior to the elimination of each category, each mentor selected two finalists from their own category as the bottom two. The bottom two acts performed another song of their choice in the "final showdown" and their mentor was required to eliminate one of them based on the performance. At the start of the second live show, it was announced that all judges agreed to bring back one further act whom they felt should not have been eliminated on the first live show by the mentor. The act was later revealed to be Diamond White.
ThreeJust like the previous two seasons, there was no public vote or final showdown during the first live show. Instead, each of the judges selected one of their own acts to eliminate. At the start of the second live show, it was announced that all judges agreed to bring back one further act whom they felt should not have been eliminated on the first live show by the mentor. The act was later revealed to be Josh Levi.

After The X Factor[edit]

The winner of the competition is awarded a recording contract with Syco Music in association with Sony Music Entertainment, which would include cash payments totaling $5 million.[12][13] A press release on behalf of the show on February 7, 2011 called the recording contract "the largest guaranteed prize in television history."[18] Unlike the British version of the show,[19] the costs of recording and marketing the winning artist will be paid for separately from the $5  million initial contract payment. The $5 million will be paid directly to the winner in five annual installments of $1 million. Cowell said in a conference call with reporters on February 7, 2011: "I think it should be a life-changing prize and just to be clear, this isn't a dressed-up $5 million, this is a guaranteed $5 million payable to the winner. The recording, marketing, and video costs are completely separate to that. It will be paid over five years at $1 million a year."[20] Cowell said in the same conference call that the specific music label within the Sony family that the winner signs with depends on which label could provide the best support to the winner with regard to the type of music the winner chooses to perform.

Series overview[edit]

To date, three seasons have been broadcast, as summarized below.

  Act mentored by Simon Cowel
  Act mentored by L.A. Reid
  Act mentored by Nicole Scherzinger
  Act mentored by Britney Spears
  Act mentored by Kelly Rowland
  Act mentored by Paulina Rubio

Season Start Finish Winner Runner-Up Third Place Fourth Place Winning Mentor Host(s) Sponsors Judges Guest Judges
1September 21, 2011 December 22, 2011 Melanie Amaro
Josh Krajcik
Over 30s
Chris Rene
Marcus Canty
Simon CowellSteve JonesPepsi
L.A. Reid Nicole Scherzinger Paula Abdul Simon Cowell Cheryl Cole1
2September 12, 2012 December 20, 2012 Tate Stevens
Over 25s
Carly Rose Sonenclar
Fifth Harmony
L.A. ReidKhloé Kardashian
Mario Lopez
Best Buy
Britney Spears Demi Lovato Louis Walsh2
3September 11, 2013 December 19, 2013 Alex & Sierra
Jeff Gutt
Over 25s
Carlito Olivero
Restless Road
Simon Cowell Mario Lopez CoverGirl
Herbal Essences
Paulina Rubio Kelly Rowland N/A
  1. ^ Cheryl Cole originally served as a permanent judge for the Los Angeles and Chicago auditions but was dropped and replaced by Nicole Scherzinger who was originally a co-host.
  2. ^ Louis Walsh served as a guest judge for only the Kansas City auditions to replace Simon Cowell who was ill.

Judges and hosts[edit]


At the time of announcing the U.S. version of The X Factor, Simon Cowell was the only confirmed judge for the show.[21] He later said that he was taking the choices of whom to join him on the show very seriously, saying, "It's pointless hiring judges who don't know anything about the music business. I'll probably go and find someone who did what I did for a living. I was an A&R guy for 20 years."[22] Eventually, Grammy Award-winning record executive, songwriter, and record producerL.A. Reid,[23][24] former The X Factor UK judge Cheryl Cole,[25][26] and Cowell's former American Idol colleague Paula Abdul[27] were confirmed to join Cowell in the judging panel. Cole was dropped from the show after two sets of auditions and was replaced by co-host Nicole Scherzinger from the Newark auditions.

After season one, the show's producers had said that they would undergo some changes which resulted in, what media outlets called, an "X Factor Shake-up". On January 30, 2012, it was announced that neither Abdul nor Scherzinger would return as a judge for season two with Scherzinger transferring to the UK show for the 2012 UK series to replace Kelly Rowland.[28] When searching for replacements, Cowell sought to hire pop star Britney Spears as Scherzinger's replacement. After months of negotiations, Cowell and Spears came to an agreement for season two. Following the employment of Spears, Cowell was looking for a young superstar, in order to bring in a younger audience. On May 14, it was confirmed that Demi Lovato was one of the new judges.

On December 13, 2012, Reid announced that he would not be returning as a judge for a third season, instead opting to focus on Epic Records. Spears announced on January 11, 2013, that she would not be renewing her contract for another season, opting to focus on recording her eighth studio album. In March 2013, Lovato was announced to be joining Cowell on the panel again for season three. In April 2013, it was reported that former judge on The X Factor UKKelly Rowland was the front-runner to replace Reid. In May, it was officially confirmed that Rowland and Paulina Rubio would join Cowell and Lovato for season three.[29]


Cowell initially indicated that The X Factor may have two hosts.[30][31] Numerous people were speculated to host the series, including High School Musical star Corbin Bleu, model Marisa Miller,[32] and Dermot O'Leary, host of the UK version.[33] On May 8, 2011, Nicole Scherzinger and Welsh presenter Steve Jones were announced as co-hosts of the show.[34][35] However, following the departure of judge Cheryl in season one, Scherzinger took her place and Jones became sole host.

After season one, Jones followed Scherzinger and judge Paula Abdul out the door as they were all dismissed from their duties on the show. Reports on who was going to replace Jones as the host circulated for months. Reality star Khloé Kardashian and Extra host Mario Lopez were confirmed as the two hosts hired. The season two auditions, boot camp, and judges' houses phases of the show went on without hosts as they were not yet confirmed. On April 22, 2013, Fox announced that Lopez would return as sole host for season three after Kardashian was not asked back as co-host.[36]

Judges' categories and their finalists[edit]

In each season, each judge is allocated a category to mentor and chooses a small number of acts (four or five, depending on the season) to progress to the live finals. This table shows, for each season, which category each judge was allocated and which acts he or she put through to the live finals.

  – Winning judge/category. Winners are in bold, eliminated contestants in small font.


The Pepsi Pre-show Live is a podcast, sponsored by Pepsi, that is broadcast through the X Factor website one hour before every episode in the live rounds of the show. This program features behind-the-scenes looks backstage, acoustic performances, and interviews with celebrities, judges, contestants, and X Factor alumni. This program is hosted by Jesse Giddings, Adrienne Bailon, and Jim Cantiello.


Television ratings[edit]

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of The X Factor on Fox.

Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.

The show was also broadcast on itv 2 in the united Kingdom, season 1 proved popular launching just 1 day after the American launch date

Awards and nominations[edit]

At the 2012 Teen Choice Awards, The X Factor beat rival shows American Idol and The Voice to take the award for Reality Competition Show. The X Factor also won the award for Breakout Show, and Simon Cowell won the Male Personality award.

2012 Teen Choice AwardsReality Competition Show The X FactorWon
Breakout ShowThe X FactorWon
Male Personality Simon Cowell Won
Female Reality Star Melanie AmaroNominated
2013 People's Choice AwardsFavorite TV Competition Show The X FactorWon
Favorite Celebrity Judge Demi Lovato Won
Britney SpearsNominated
Kids' Choice AwardsFavorite Villain Simon Cowell Won
Teen Choice AwardsReality Competition Show The X FactorWon
Female Artist Demi Lovato Won
Female Hottie Demi Lovato Nominated
Smile Demi Lovato Nominated
Male Personality Simon Cowell Won
Female Personality Demi Lovato Won
Breakout Group Emblem3Won
Choice Style Icon Demi Lovato Won
Choice Single: Female Artist Demi Lovato Won


On February 7, 2014, Fox announced that The X Factor would not be renewed for a fourth season, following Cowell's decision to return to the UK show a day earlier.[42] Cowell later said he would consider rebooting the show if the reality TV singing competition landscape became less competitive.[43]


In the quarter-final of season one, Scherzinger voted to eliminate contestant Rachel Crow from the show over Marcus Canty; this sent the result to deadlock. Following this, Crow was eliminated and Scherzinger was booed off the stage and her future on the show was put in jeopardy.[44] She subsequently received death threats from some viewers.[45] Scherzinger was let go at the end of the season and later transferred to London to replace Kelly Rowland as a judge on the UK show for the 2012 UK series. On the UK show, Scherzinger became a more popular and successful judge.

The airing of the season two judges' houses episode on October 17, 2012 was cut short abruptly in the middle of Lovato's selection for the top 16 to return to MLB on Fox coverage of Game 3 of the 2012 National League Championship Series, which had been in a lengthy rain delay and restarted (the game started at 4 p.m. ET so that Fox could run their primetime lineup upon the game's completion).[46] After viewer complaints and a Twitter message from Cowell that consisted of his reaction being "It's what's known as a total f up," the episode was re-aired the next week in full.

In season three, due to graphics errors made in the top 13 round of the live shows regarding voting, all voting results posted in that episode were invalidated, and the contestants sang once more in November 7, 2013, show, with the results revealed on November 13.[47]

Music releases by The X Factor contestants[edit]

Main article: The X Factor (U.S.) discography

International broadcasts[edit]

Following the announcement of the show coming to America, several other broadcasters around the world expressed interest in acquiring the rights to show the American version of the show in their country. The below-mentioned countries may have their own version of The X Factor, dubbed equally or under another name.

  • Brazil: Premiered on October 11, 2011 on Canal Sony
  • Bulgaria: Season one premiered Saturday, November 3, 2012 on FOX
  • Canada: Simultaneously broadcast with the Fox broadcast on CTV (on Wednesday) or CTV Two (on Thursday).[48] (for the third season, shown only on CTV Two)
  • Cyprus: Premiered on September 30, 2011 on RIK 1
  • Czech Republic: Season two premiered on September 15, 2012 on Prima Love
  • Denmark: Premiered on October 1, 2011 on DR HD
  • Estonia: Premiered on October 9, 2011, and is broadcast on every Sunday on TV3[49]
  • Finland: Premiered on October 4, 2011, and is broadcast on Tuesday and Friday on Sub
  • Greece: Premiered on October 1, 2011 on ANT1[50]
  • Hungary: Premiered on October 1, 2011, and is broadcast on every Sunday and Saturday on RTL Klub[51]
  • India: Premiered on September 22, 2011 and is simulcast on Big CBS Prime, Love and Spark.
  • Indonesia: A group of local TV networks is airing the shows the same week it is aired in America; in Jakarta it airs on B Channel (now RTV) on Thursday and Friday, with repeats on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Ireland: Premiered on September 13, 2011 on TV3 and is broadcast every Friday. Also airs on ITV2 (see UK section).
  • Israel: Premiered on September 14, 2011, and is broadcast on Friday and Saturday on Hot 3
  • Iran: Premiered on December 20, 2012, and is broadcast on Thursday and Friday on GEM TV
  • Japan: Premiered on October 1, 2011 on FOX bs238
  • Latin America: Premiered on October 12, 2011 on Sony Channel. Season 2 premiered on October 26, 2012 also on Sony Channel.
  • Latvia: Premiered on December 1, 2012 on Channel 2
  • Malaysia: Premiered on September 23, 2011 on 8TV
  • Middle East: Premiered on September 24, 2011 on OSN First
  • New Zealand: Broadcast 6 hours and 30 minutes after it is aired in the U.S, on TV3[52]
  • Philippines: Premiered on September 22, 2011 on Studio 23 (now ABS-CBN Sports+Action).
  • Poland: Premiered on October 11, 2011 on Fox Life and is broadcast every Tuesday[53]
  • Portugal: Airs on SIC Mulher
  • Russia: Premiered on January 2, 2012, and is broadcast on Monday to Friday on MTV
  • Singapore: Same day telecast as the U.S. on MediaCorp Channel 5[54]
  • Serbia: Premiered on November 2, 2012 on FOX Serbia.
  • Slovakia: Premiered on September 23, 2011 on JOJ Plus; season two premiered September 14, 2012 on TV JOJ (broadcast in Slovakia 24 hours after it is aired in the U.S.)
  • South Africa: Broadcast on SABC 1
  • Thailand: Broadcast on Workpoint TV (Season 1), RTL CBS Entertainment
  • Turkey: Broadcast on Dizimax Entertainment
  • Trinidad and Tobago: Airs on CNC3
  • United Kingdom and Ireland: As part of Cowell's contract, it was agreed that ITV2, the sister channel to the ITV network (which airs the original British version of The X Factor), would have rights to air the U.S. version. The first season was broadcast in the UK 18 hours after the U.S. airing – it premiered on September 22, 2011 in the UK and airs on Thursday and Friday nights. The second season premiered on September 27, 2012, meaning there was initially a delay of two weeks after the U.S. airing. From the live shows onwards, this gap has again reduced to 48 hours. Season 3 premiered on September 20, 2013, 9 days after the U.S. premiere.


On January 7, 2011, Fox, SYCOtv and FremantleMedia North America announced that Pepsi would be the official sponsor of The X Factor.[4][7] The sponsorship included an extensive multi-platform on and off-air marketing partnership.[4] On June 9, Chevrolet was announced as the second official sponsor of the show. Chevrolet's sponsorship would also include an extensive multi-platform on and off-air marketing partnership.[55]Sony was confirmed as the third official sponsor on July 26. Sony's sponsorship of The X Factor would also include an extensive multi-platform on and off-air marketing partnership.[56]Verizon also sponsored the show; they were the official wireless sponsor.[57]

In 2012, the show was the second-highest revenue earning show of the year, with US$5.55 million ad revenue per half-hour, behind American Idol.[58]

For the third season, Honda and Procter & Gamble replaced the previous major sponsors of the show, with Procter & Gamble using it as a platform to promote its CoverGirl, Herbal Essences and Secretpersonal care brands.[59]


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  25. ^Plunkett, John (May 5, 2011). "Cheryl Cole confirmed as US X Factor judge.'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
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  28. ^"'X Factor' shake-up: Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger out". Entertainment Weekly's EW.com.
  29. ^Gil Kaufman (May 21, 2013). "Kelly Rowland And Paulina Rubio Officially Join 'X Factor'". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
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  32. ^Elyse Taylor on Gisele and Victoria's Secret.Archived April 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machinevogue.com.au. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
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External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_X_Factor_(American_TV_series)
Soul singer Louisa Johnson covers Who’s Loving You - Auditions Week 1 - The X Factor UK 2015

X Factor past winners: where are they now?

The X Factor has undergone a major revamp for 2019, with two instalments scheduled: X Factor: Celebrity and X Factor: All Stars.

But as we wait to find out who the winners will be, it’s time to take a look back through the ITV show’s history of former winners.

When it comes to success, the Boys’ category has proved most successful with five previous winners, while head judge Simon Cowell also has five wins to his name.

But whoever the winning acts will be this year, they’ll join a long list of champs, from last year’s victor Dalton Harris to series one’s Steve Brookstein…

Here’s your guide to ALL the former winners on The X Factor – and what they did next…

2018 winner: Dalton Harris

Jamaican singer Dalton Harris was mentored to victory by Louis Tomlinson, eight years after winning Jamaican contest, Digicel Rising Stars.

His winning single The Power of Love which featured 2012 winner James Arthur reached number four on the UK Singles Chart. 

2017 winner: Rak-Su

The Watford-based boyband mentored by judge Simon Cowell beat Grace Davies in last year’s final. After winning, the four boys – Ashley Fongho, Jamaal Shurland, Mustafa Rahimtulla and Myles Stephenson – released original song Dimelo, which hit number two in the UK charts.

In February 2018, Rak-Su also released a self-titled EP, which featured original tracks Mamacita, Mona Lisa and I’m Feeling You. In July they supported Little Mix, the only other group ever to win The X Factor, on their Summer Hits Tour 2018.

2016 winner: Matt Terry

After beating Saara Aalto and 5 After Midnight in the final, Terry released debut single When Christmas Comes Around, which peaked at number three in the charts. He also featured in Enrique Iglesias song Súbeme la Radio, which was a top 10 hit.

However, Terry didn’t see as much success with his debut album Trouble, which only achieved a chart position of 29. The Thing About Love, a single from the album, only peaked at number 51.

2015: Louisa Johnson

At the age of 17, Johnson became the youngest ever winner on the show, beating duo Reggie N Bollie in the final. Since then she’s featured in Clean Bandit single Tears and worked with Olly Murs.

2014: Ben Haenow

After coming top in the competition, Haenow scored a Christmas number one with a cover of One Republic’s Something I Need. His second single saw him duet with American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson.

2013: Sam Bailey

Sam Callahan, Luke Friend and Tamera Foster: Bailey beat them all to be crowned champion.

After picking up a Christmas number one with a cover of Demi Lovato’s Skyscraper, Bailey’s debut album The Power Of Love also topped the charts. She has since moved into musical theatre and acting, and starred in the likes of the Fat Friends musical.

2012: James Arthur

Arthur was declared the winner of the show’s ninth series, with Jahmene Douglas finishing as runner-up. He achieved a number one hit with Impossible (originally sung by Shontelle).

After a series of controversies, he parted ways with Simon Cowell’s Syco records, before eventually being re-signed in 2016.

2011: Little Mix

The first group to win the show, Little Mix – consisting of Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jesy Nelson – became one of X Factor’s most successful champions.

They have released four studio albums (all of which charted in the top 4) and four number one singles.

2010: Matt Cardle

Cardle may have come out top in the final, but it’s runners-up One Direction that became that year’s most successful act – and X Factor’s biggest export. While the boyband produced five albums and a future X Factor judge in Louis Tomlinson, Cardle soon parted ways with Syco. He has since moved into musical theatre and starred in Strictly Ballroom.

2009: Joe McElderry

You probably remember McElderry most from his bid to become Christmas number one, which was thwarted by a campaign to get Rage Against the Machine’s Killing In The Name Of to the top spot. He’s since played the lead role in musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

2008: Alexandra Burke

Beating JLS in the final and even singing a duet with Beyoncé, Burke enjoyed a Christmas number one single with a cover of Hallelujah.

She has since moved to the stage, starring in the Sister Act musical and The Bodyguard. And, of course, Burke participated in the 2017 series of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. She made it to the final, only to be beaten by Joe McFadden.

2007: Leon Jackson

Jackson was the shock winner of the series, beating Rhydian Roberts. He went on to score Christmas number one with a cover of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston’s When You Believe, but was later dropped by Syco.

2006: Leona Lewis

After her win against Ray Quinn, Leona Lewis’s winning single A Moment Like This spent four weeks at number one. She went on to crack the American market and has released five solo albums.

2005: Shayne Ward

Another winner with a number one hit, Ward topped the charts with Christmas single That’s My Goal. After releasing four studio albums, Ward turned to acting and was cast in Coronation Street in 2015.

2004: Steve Brookstein

He might have been the show’s first champion, but 2004 winner Steve Brookstein has since openly criticised the show on Twitter and in his book Getting Over the X.

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